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Besides the force it has to fright
The same arts that did gain
ON THE LATE MASSACRE IN PIEMONT.
Avenge, O Lord, thy slaughtered saints, whose bones
To heaven. Their martyred blood and ashes sow
HYMN TO LIGHT.
First-born of Chaos, who so fair didst come
From the old Negro's darksome womb!
Which, when it saw the lovely child,
The melancholy mass put on kind looks and smiled :
Thou tide of glory which no rest dost know,
But ever ebb and ever flow!
Thou golden shower of a true Jove!
Who does in thee descend, and heaven to earth make love!
Say, from what golden quivers of the sky
Do all thy wingèd arrows fly?
Swiftness and power by birth are thine;
From thy great sire they came, thy sire, the Word Divine.
'Tis, I believe, this archery to show,
That so much cost in colours thou
And skill in painting dost bestow
Upon thy ancient arms, the gaudy heavenly bow.
Swift as light thoughts their empty carriere run,
Let a post-angel start with thee,
And thou the goal of earth shalt reach as soon as he.
Thou in the moon's bright chariot proud and gay
And all the year dost with thee bring
Of thousand flowery lights thine own nocturnal spring.
Thou, Scythian-like, dost round thy lands, above
The shining pageants of the world attend thy show.
Nor amidst all these triumphs dost thou scorn
The humble glowworms to adorn,
And with those living spangles gild
(O greatness without pride!) the bushes of the field.
Night and her ugly subjects dost thou fright,
And sleep, the lazy owl of night;
Ashamed and fearful to appear,
They screen their horrid shapes with the black hemisphere.
With them there hastes, and wildly takes the alarm,
Of painted dreams a busy swarm ;
At the first opening of thine eye
The various clusters break, the antic atoms fly.
When, Goddess, thou lift'st up thy wakened head
Thy choir of birds about thee play,
And all thy joyful world salutes the rising day.
All the world's bravery that delights our eyes,
Thou the rich dye on them bestowest,
Thy nimble pencil paints this landscape as thou goest.
A crimson garment in the rose thou wear'st;
A crown of studded gold thou bear'st;
The virgin lilies, in their white,
Are clad but with the lawn of almost naked light.
The violet, spring's little infant, stands
Girt in thy purple swaddling-bands;
On the fair tulip thou dost dote,
Thou cloth'st it in a gay and parti-coloured coat.
With flame condensed thou dost thy jewels fix,
Flora herself envies to see
Flowers fairer than her own, and durable as she.
Through the soft ways of heaven and air and sea,
Which open all their pores to thee,
Like a clear river thou dost glide,
And with thy living stream through the close channels slide.
But where firm bodies thy free course oppose,
Gently thy source the land o'erflows;
Takes there possession, and does make,
Of colours' mingled light, a thick and standing lake:
But the vast ocean of unbounded day
In the empyrean heaven does stay;
From thence took first their rise, thither at last must flow.
TO THE ROYAL SOCIETY.
Philosophy! the great and only heir
Has still been kept in nonage till of late,
Nor managed or enjoyed his vast estate.
Three or four thousand years, one would have thought, 10 To ripeness and perfection might have brought
A science so well bred and nursed,
And of such hopeful parts, too, at the first;
But oh! the guardians and the tutors then,
Lest that should put an end to their authority.
That his own business he might quite forget,
Instead of vigorous exercise they led him
Into the pleasant labyrinths of ever-fresh discourse:
Some few exalted spirits this latter age has shown,
That laboured to assert the liberty
(From guardians who were now usurpers grown)
Of this old minor still, captived Philosophy;
But 'twas rebellion called, to fight
For such a long-oppressèd right.
Bacon, at last, a mighty man! arose,
Whom a wise King and Nature chose
Lord Chancellor of both their laws,
And boldly undertook the injured pupil's cause.
Authority, which did a body boast,
Though 'twas but air condensed, and stalked about
To graves, from whence it rose, the conquered phantom fled.
He broke that monstrous god which stood,
In midst of the orchard, and the whole did claim,
Which with a useless scythe of wood,
And something else not worth a name,
Bacon has broke that scarecrow deity:
(Ridiculous and senseless terrors!) made Children and superstitious men afraid. The orchard's open now, and free:
Come, enter all that will,
Behold the ripened fruit, come, gather now your fill!
Yet still, methinks, we fain would be
Catching at the forbidden tree;
We would be like the Deity;
When truth and falsehood, good and evil, we
Without the senses' aid within ourselves would see;
For 'tis God only who can find
All nature in his mind.